Classic English Literature Essay

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Write a 600 to 800-word literary analysis paper of a sonnet using at least three of the following sources: the sonnet (required), one book (required), class packets, and credible web sites.
Your Four Sources:
You must use one of the sonnets as a source.
You may then choose to use any combination of three of the following: the sonnet, the textbook or my web site, books from the library, or web other credible sites.

Your Works Cited and Citing Your Sources:
At the end of your paper, include a properly formatted MLA Works Cited page listing all four of your sources.
Include correctly formatted parenthetical citations throughout your paper (see Textual Evidence above for additional information).Write in the Present Tense:

Correct Example – In Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Bilbo finds the One Ring and covetously holds onto it.

 

Incorrect Example – In Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Bilbo found the One Ring and covetously held onto it.

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Use Third-Person Point of View: Keep yourself out of your analysis.
First Person – I believe that the narrator in The Hobbit is a dynamic character because I read many details about the changes in his personality corresponding to his attaining of the One Ring.
Third Person – The narrator in The Hobbit is a dynamic character whose personality changes corresponding to his attaining of the One Ring. Avoid Summarizing the Plot:
Never retell the story in your own words.
Form a thesis by supporting the thesis through an analysis of the poem using literary terms.

 

Incorrect Example (Plot Summary) – In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, a hobbit and thirteen dwarves embark upon a journey to regain the dwarve’s rightful kingdom. Along the way, the hobbit and dwarves are tested and eventually have a final encounter in which five armies clash in an epic battle for the riches below the dwarven mountain.
Correct Example (Literary Analysis) – J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a science-fiction-fantasy novel that recounts the journey of thirteen dwarves, a single hobbit, and a magician in which they attempt to regain the homeland of the dwarves. At first The Hobbit seems to be a simple, linear plot following the journey of a group of treasure hunters. However, after closer scrutiny, The Hobbit becomes a journey of cultural exploration that leads to the broadening of each character’s cultural perspective. In fact, it’s the cultural biases between the many races of the fictional Middle Earth that perpetuates violence. Therefore, The Hobbit is not simply a linear narrative about treasure hunters; it is a real-world exploration of how cultural bias can lead to destructive conflict.

 

Creating and Supporting a Thesis Statement

Meaningful Thesis:
Your thesis statement should address something meaningful about the literature.
Your thesis is your controlling idea for your whole paper; if your paper does not have a thesis statement, you really do not have a paper.
Your thesis statement should be a statement that can be supported with evidence; you are writing to support your thesis.

 

Example – Therefore, The Hobbit is not simply a linear narrative about treasure hunters; it is a real-world exploration of how cultural bias can lead to destructive conflict.
Example – In Of Mice and Men, each character bears their own mistreatment, but it is truly Curley’s wife, the only unnamed character, that receives the harshest mistreatment.

Choosing a Topic:
You need to decide upon a poem to examine in some way. Begin by selecting the poem and then researching the poet. Find out what makes the poet interesting, his or her view of life which developed the poetry, and what moved the poet to write this piece of poetry. Then decide from what angle you are going to analyze this piece.

 

The Structure of Your Paper

The Introductory Paragraph and Thesis:
It begins creatively in order to catch the reader’s interest, provides essential background about the literary work, and prepares the reader for your major thesis.
The introduction must include the author and the title of work. It will also include the thesis, which usually goes at the end of the first paragraph.

Examples of Creative Introductions:
A startling fact or bit of information – Nearly two citizen were arrested as witches in the Salem witch scare of 1692. Eventually nineteen were hanged, and another was pressed to death (Marks 65).

 

A bit of dialogue between two characters – “’It is another thing. You [Frederic Henry) cannot know about it unless you have it.’ “Well,’ I said. ‘If I ever get it I will tell you [priest].’” With these words, the priest in Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms sends the hero, Frederic, in search of the ambiguous “it” in life.

 

A meaningful quotation (from the work or another source) – “To be, or not to be, that is the question” (Shakespeare). This familiar statement expresses the young prince’s moral dilemma in William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet.

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A universal idea – The terrifying scenes a soldier experiences on the front

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